Lighten Up Louisiana will begin its third fitness competition Jan. 17, 2007. Sponsored by the Department of Health and the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, the competition is designed to help promote physical activity and healthy eating habits.

Since Louisiana's obesity rate has risen in the past 10 years (from 49 percent in 1991 to 63 percent in 2004 as reported by the Louisiana Public Health Institute), the competition is an important way to help encourage people to actively participate in developing a healthier lifestyle.

Lighten Up Louisiana is a five-month competition running from January through June that will recognize team and individual weight loss accomplishments as well as accumulated miles that result from physical activity.

“Lighten Up provides people not only with a framework to help them lose weight and eat better, but also an incentive in the form of the competition,” stated Rudy Macklin, Executive Director of the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. “I would like to encourage everyone to participate to see what proper exercise and eating right can do for your health.”

Louisianians are encouraged to form teams (two to 10 people) or sign on as individuals to compete in one or both categories. Youngsters can also sign up and compete (with adult supervision) through Lighten Up Louisiana Kids. The top teams will be recognized statewide and will receive a special recognition party and reception at the Governor’s Mansion.

Macklin added that registration for the competition is now open.

“The actual competition begins on Jan. 17, but the Lighten Up Web site is up and running and accepting individual and team registrations,” said Macklin.

Lighten Up participation is reported and tracked online at Team captains simply log on, enter their teams and information and update their accomplishments each week. Click Here For Public Service Announcement.

For more details, visit the Web site or call 1-866-562-9015.